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Obamacare Repeal Could Fail With One More GOP Defection

Senate Republicans face a challenge in passing their health care legislation meant to replace and repeal the Affordable Care Act, as just one more defecting GOP vote could put the bill in jeopardy.

With Republicans outnumbering Democrats in the Senate by 52-48, the margins for lost votes on the revised health care bill are narrow.

The revised bill, set to be voted on by the Senate in mid-July, has received fire from many groups, including the American Medical Association.

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky postponed the original vote due to lack of support.

"The revised bill does not address the key concerns of physicians and patients regarding proposed Medicaid cuts and inadequate subsidies that will result in millions of Americans losing health insurance coverage," said Dr. David Barbe, president of the AMA, according to Reuters.

Some senators have played with the idea of revising the existing ACA, also known as Obabacare, in the event that the GOP replacement and repeal bill does not go through.

"There are changes that need to be made to the law," said Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois.

Some Republican senators still reportedly hold reservations about how the GOP health care bill will affect their constituents.

"I'm still deeply concerned about the Medicaid cuts that have been included," said GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, according to NBC News. "They have been modified in some ways, but there's no doubt in my mind there are hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts that would ship costs onto the state governments. It would hurt the most vulnerable citizens, it would have an adverse impact particularly on our rural health care providers, hospitals [and] nursing homes."

Collins added: "At this point, unless I learn something new, I am a 'no' on motion to proceed." 

GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky targeted his criticism at another part of the bill.

"I don't think the federal government should be subsidizing insurance companies," said Paul. "They're very successful -- $15 billion a year in profit. I don't think we need a superfund for insurance companies."

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York expanded on Paul's criticism of funding insurance companies.

"Republicans are going to try to tell the American people that this bill is no longer a tax giveaway to the wealthy and special interests," said Schumer.

"Unfortunately, that just isn’t true. This bill still cuts taxes on pharmaceutical companies. It still cuts taxes on health insurance companies. And by expanding health savings accounts, they’ve created a new tax break that goes disproportionately to the wealthy in this country."  

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